Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Santa and Jesus Nativity Scene

I discovered a stack of Katie's drawings on her art desk while I was attempting to find a pencil with a working eraser.  We are a household of mistake makers.  Pencils remain long while their tiny eraser hats shrink within days of entering our house.

The drawings all have a winter theme.  I have no idea why, just before Halloween, Katie is suddenly getting excited for winter activities.  The leaves outside are dropping like, well, they should.  No sign of snow or wintry weather.  We've got a good month or two left of autumn.  Katie must be one of those over-planners, always thinking ahead.  Like my mom, who is an artist too.  I need to watch this one or here pretty soon she's going to start telling me to shave my legs and write romance novels.

So far, Katie has respected my unconventionality.  It's the least I can do to reciprocate in my appreciation of her art.

"Santa and Jesus Nativity Scene" by Katie Carleton

I asked Katie if she meant for it to be Joseph in the nativity scene and not Santa.  She said, "No, Santa is visiting the Baby Jesus."

I dig it.  I can be cool with Katie's unconventional nativity scene, but it does, like all good art, lead me to question what it means to us as a culture.  For example, does anyone else feel sorry for Joseph?  I mean, come on, he was a good step dad but his good works go wholly, even holy, unnoticed.  The artist has left him completely out of this drawing.  What does that say about our society that we honor imaginary gift-bearers more than real humans who do the daily care-taking of us?

Perhaps I'm over-thinking the artist's intent.  Perhaps this drawing is less a reflection on society and more a reaction to the Target Wish List catalog that appeared in our mail the other day.